Kohima: At a time when political parties in Nagaland are promising religious grants to woo voters in the Christian-majority state, the community representatives have claimed people here are largely "unfazed" by such campaigns.
Nagaland is set to go to polls on Fenruary 27 and the results will be announced on March 3, 2018.
In its manifesto, the BJP, an emerging entity in the state, has promised to arrange for an annual trip to Jerusalem.
"Set up senior citizen board that will annually select around 50 members through lucky draw for a free trip to Holy Land of Jerusalem," it stated.
The Congress, too, has made similar promises in its manifesto.
"By an act of the state government, a Board will be established to facilitate minorities (Christians) to visit the Holy Land (Jerusalem) at a subsidised cost," it said.
The saffron party, which has entered into a pre-poll alliance with newly floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), is fielding candidates from 20 seats.
The Congress, on the other hand, is contesting 18 seats in 60-member assembly.
The general secretary of Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), Rev Z Keyho, said the offer is "political in nature" and people here are "unfazed" by it.
"Tourism activity is personal, but pilgrimage is spiritual and enlightening and therefore it will be better if the government and political parties does not indulge in such matters," Keyho, who is also the president of Nagaland Joint Christian Forum (NJCF), told PTI today.
People are disappointed to see political parties making religious offer, he added.
The president of Nagaland Christian Revival Church, Rev N Paphino, shared similar views.
"It is good that the political parties are making such offers but it won't make any difference to the Christian voters."
Moba Konyak, the pastor of Konyak Baptist Church in Kohima, said the political parties are spoiling their image by trying to "lure the Christian voters" with such offers.
"Such offers will not be acceptable as the Church is not run by the government," he said.